Jaipur—Let’s Get The Band Back Together

Jaipur Travel Blog

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Everybody is dropping like flies. This morning we learned that overnight, Graham and Marnie also got sick. Unfortunately we had a long bus ride ahead of us, so Marnie sacked out in the back, Harriet reclined her seat all the way back in the front, and Graham tried to relax upright next to Mary. We stopped once for chai and a toilet break, and then arrived in Jaipur.

Our hotel in Jaipur, The Wall Street Hotel, is pretty fancy compared to our other lodgings. It’s clearly for Indian businessmen and adventure tour groups because of its good location near the old city. Not a fancy neighborhood, but it’s close to the market, which was great. Pancham admitted that he also threw up for the first time in his life! Morgan rested while I went to the market with Elisa and Laura.

This was a small market with no other tourists wandering around. We bargained for tunics for both—Elisa was particularly good at this, and then took a side street and heard ladies singing. We followed the sound and came to a Hindu temple that was completely open - no doors. There were about 10 ladies sitting on a blanket on the floor singing and playing a drum and finger cymbals. As we watched, one lady motioned to us - but it was unclear if she was motioning for us to go away or sit down. She kept doing it and smiling, so we assumed it was an invitation.

Elisa wandered up and we followed her. The ladies made room for us on the blanket without stopping their singing. They motioned for Laura to play the drum, but she didn’t want to and neither did Marnie, so I took it and joined the band. The song continued for quite awhile, and my legs were falling asleep (I was sitting not them). The ladies took out rupee notes and were waving them around, and them waved them by us, and then put them in the altar. We weren’t sure if that was a hint for us to donate, or if that was just what they did, but we were too wigged out to think! When the song was over we thanked them and got back to the hotel to join the group for the night’s cooking demo.

The cooking class was at a family’s house with a large courtyard. There were monkeys climbing along the rooftop, on their way to somewhere else...they went by at regular intervals. The family called it the “Monkey Highway.” The courtyard was lovely, with several rattan tables and chairs set up on one side, and a prep/cooking table under a strong lamp on the other, plus a barbecue for the dad to make the chicken dish. I love how all meat dishes aren’t called “meat” but “non-veg.”

The mom and dad enlisted the help of their adorable, impish daughter Angel. This four-year-old little devil was wearing a tiara, her “crown” and talked a blue streak - half in English (which she mostly learned from YouTube, according to her mom) and half in Hindi, as she was skipping around the courtyard and teasing us by offering to give us her crown, and then snapping it back. Her mom said she declared that SHE would give the cooking class.

It was a lovely class, and the family was super sweet, telling us to feel at home and be part of the family. I would really love to have an actual cooking class rather than a demo, though. The family ate with us, and we learned that the mom had a master’s degree, but gave up her job to be a full-time mom and she never wants to go back to work! They were very proud of the fact that their class was the 2nd highest rated attraction in Jaipur.
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photo by: oxangu2